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All trading on TSX halted due to order entry issue – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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The Canadian Press


Published Thursday, February 27, 2020 2:16PM EST


Last Updated Thursday, February 27, 2020 11:30PM EST

TORONTO – Trading abruptly ended early Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange and several other TMX Group Ltd. markets after the company suspended the exchanges because of what it says were technical issues.

The trading halts, which came a over than two hours before the scheduled close, came on another day of sharp losses on fears of the novel coronavirus’s effect on global economic growth.

The TSX fell as much as 585 points and was down 325 points, or 1.9 per cent, when it was halted, while U.S. markets fell more than four per cent.

The company said it halted the markets because clients were unable to enter, modify or cancel open orders on TSX, TSXV and Alpha exchanges, and it had also halted its derivatives-focused Montreal Exchange.

“We apologize for the inconvenience,” the company said in a statement. “Due to the nature of the issue, TMX was unable to engage disaster recovery systems in time to ensure an orderly market re-open and closing session.”

The company said the interruption was caused by a system capacity issue within the messaging technology component of TMX’s trading engine.

TMX said it has taken measures to mitigate the risk of recurrence, including significantly increasing the capacity of this component.

“TMX confirms that this incident was not the result of a cybersecurity attack,” the company said in a release. “TMX also confirms that all systems are ready for the start of business on Friday.”

The halts came shortly before 2 p.m. and TMX confirmed at 3:17 p.m. that they would remain closed for the day. It has not yet said when the exchanges will reopen.

“It’s very disappointing,” said Martin Pelletier, managing director and portfolio manager at Wellington-Altus Private Counsel Inc. “You’re looking at what’s happening in the U.S., and not being able to do anything in Canada.”

Pelletier said he still had access to alternative markets like the NEO Exchange in Toronto, but they don’t have the same liquidity.

“Alternative markets were open, but it makes it very difficult for the average investor to rebalance, or even their adviser to work within their existing portfolio.”

Laura Lau, chief investment officer at Brompton Funds, said the glitch wasn’t great for Canada’s image.

“It’s not good for our reputation, certainly a black eye.”

She said the TSX would likely catch up to what Canadian stocks were trading at on the alternative markets when trading resumes, but those who wanted to sell Thursday were out of luck.

“When markets close for a holiday, they tend to catch up the next day. It’s more of an issue if you wanted to say, sell for cash, and you were going to do it in the last two hours of the day.”

The last time TMX closed the TSX early was on April 27, 2018, due to internal technical issues, and reopened the market on the next trading day.

The 2018 incident was caused by a hardware failure in a central storage appliance of the trading system, the company said.

At the time, then company CEO Lou Eccleston said the company was committed to applying the lessons learned from this incident to help it prevent such issues from recurring in the future.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2020.

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Oil prices decline $3 a barrel as market remains uncertain on supply outlook – Kitco NEWS

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Global benchmark oil prices traded as much as $3 a barrel lower as the market opened for Monday’s trading session, reflecting fears of oversupply after Saudi Arabia and Russia postponed to Thursday a meeting about a potential pact to cut production.

Late last week, prices had surged, with both U.S. and Brent contracts posting their largest weekly percentage gains on record due to hopes that OPEC and its allies would strike a global deal to cut crude supply worldwide.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has cut demand and a month-long price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia has left the market awash in crude. During the month, prices have plummeted as the market has waited for a plan to cut production from OPEC and its allies.

Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia sent a signal that a production cut deal may be ahead, potentially muting the price decline. U.S. President Donald Trump said he will put pressure on Saudi Arabia and its allies for such a deal.

“I don’t know that anyone is going to get too aggressively short before the meeting,” said Robert McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group in Bethesda, Maryland.

Brent crude LCOc1 traded lower by $2.39 a barrel, or 7%, by 6:16 p.m. EDT (10:16 GMT) after earlier touching a session low of $30.03 a barrel.

U.S. crude CLc1 traded down $2.41 a barrel, or 8.5%, at $25.93 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia’s decision to postpone its posting of the international prices for its crude for the first time indicates that it is not eager to flood the market with low-priced crude before a potential agreement. “That’s a pretty clear sign that they are open to cutting production in May,” McNally said. The kingdom delayed the release until Friday to wait for the outcome of the meeting between OPEC and its allies regarding possible output cuts, a Saudi source told Reuters.

Trump said on Saturday that he will put tariffs on Saudi and Russian production, potentially accelerating an output cutback.

OPEC and its allies postponed an emergency meeting scheduled for Monday, led by Saudi Arabia, where the oil cuts could be agreed upon. A senior Saudi source told Reuters on Sunday that the kingdom would now host the meeting via videoconference on Thursday and the delay was to allow more time to bring other producers on board.

Russian President Vladimir Putin put the blame for the crash in prices on Saudi Arabia on Friday – prompting a response from Riyadh the following day disputing Putin’s assertions.

OPEC and its allies are working on a global agreement for an unprecedented oil production cut equivalent to around 10% of worldwide supply in what they expect to be a global effort including countries that do not exert state control over output, such as the United States.

Trump has, however, made no commitment to take the extraordinary step of persuading U.S. companies to cut output.

Per Magnus Nysveen, head of analysis at Rystad Energy, said the decline in global demand because of the coronavirus pandemic and the global lockdowns was larger than the proposed cuts by the OPEC+ alliance.

“It is not strange for the market to hike prices by enthusiasm such as Friday’s, but for the levels to stay stable for more than a day or two, it takes concrete developments and deals on the ground,” he said.

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The World's Biggest Oil Deal Can't Save Crude Prices – OilPrice.com

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The World’s Biggest Oil Deal Can’t Save Crude Prices | OilPrice.com

Nick Cunningham

Nick Cunningham is an independent journalist, covering oil and gas, energy and environmental policy, and international politics. He is based in Portland, Oregon. 

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    G20 countries are set to send their oil minister for an emergency meeting on Friday, a sign that there is a chance that OPEC and Russia can pull in other oil-producing countries into a global production cut.  Sentiment around the odds of a massive production cut deal have seemingly gyrated just as much as oil prices. Last week, President Trump’s tweet was met with euphoria by oil traders but skepticism by analysts. A day later, the odds seemed to improve dramatically and OPEC+ agreed to hold a meeting on Monday after Russia voiced some degree of support. But Trump dashed hopes again after he emerged from a meeting with American oil executives and said that the free market would sort things out. 

    That statement may have caused OPEC+ to delay a meeting until the end of this week. Saudi Arabia delayed the release of its monthly pricing list, an influential data point that offers both a pricing benchmark and also offers a window into Saudi strategy. The delay suggests that Riyadh will wait and see if there is any progress on OPEC+ talks before taking action one way or another. 

    The odds of success vary depending on who you ask. 

    On the bullish side of the ledger is the fact that an emergency meeting of the G20 oil ministers has been called, signaling potential participation in global production cuts beyond just OPEC+ countries. “It is coming to a level where it will have significant implications for the stability of the global economy and millions of workers employed in the oil and gas industry,” Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) told the FT. “The main task [of the G20] is to provide and maintain the financial and economic stability of global markets so it is perfectly in-line with their remit.”

    Saudi Arabia and Russia are “very, very close” to an historic deal to cut production, but success likely hinges on whether or not the U.S. and other non-OPEC countries join. 

    Related: Big Oil Raises Debt To Ride Out Price Crash
    Still, several analysts voiced skepticism that a production deal was imminent. 

    The meeting delay “is a fresh sign that working out a deal of this magnitude will take time,” JBC Energy wrote in a note on Monday. “Defining the right size for it will be very difficult, and of course, there is good reason to wonder if it will materialise at all.” The fact that Brent was trading at around $34 on Monday suggests that “a large part of the market still appears to be holding onto the hope of a better future,” the firm concluded. 

    However, even if they do, a global production cut – even one as large as 10 million barrels per day (mb/d) – may only buy time as the oil market continues to collapse. 

    Estimates of demand destruction now top 20 mb/d. Some estimates even put the global glut at 35 mb/d. 

    A supply cut would delay the time at which global inventories fill to the brim, but as long as the pandemic continues to keep a few billion people on lockdown, the oil surplus will remain. 

    Related: This Gulf State Faces An Impossible Decision As Oil War Rages On

    “Even if there was 10m b/d of cuts in our view we could still see a building of stocks of 15m b/d,” Mr Birol said. “I see that there is a growing consensus that this is the forum to address this problem.”

    The cuts of around 10 mb/d would also likely occur against a baseline of today’s rate of output, which is 3 mb/d or so higher than it was a month ago on the eve of the OPEC+ meeting. Since then, Saudi Arabia has ramped up production and may offer cuts against that new, higher level of output. 

    That means the proposed 10 mb/d of cuts is more like 6.5 mb/d of cuts, Commerzbank says. “Under these circumstances, it is likely to prove difficult to reach any agreement,” Commerzbank analysts said, referring to the negotiations between multiple parties, including the mercurial U.S. president. “And in any case, a reduction of 6.5 million barrels would do little to help in view of an oversupply of over 20 million barrels per day,” Commerzbank wrote in a report on Monday. 

    By Nick Cunningham of Oilprice.com

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      Russia Is Ready To Make Major Output Cuts – OilPrice.com

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      Russia Is Ready To Make Major Output Cuts | OilPrice.com

      Julianne Geiger

      Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.

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        Russia is prepared to undertake significant cuts to its oil production, according to two Russian sources who spoke to Reuters on Monday. The markets are hanging on every word from Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States about who is prepared to do what, for how long, and with what conditions.

        Oil markets were largely trading down on Monday after OPEC over the weekend postponed the emergency meeting originally scheduled for today at the behest of the United States for later in the week. Although both Saudi Arabia and Russia have signaled its continued intent to curb oil production, the actions spooked markets.

        At 1:05pm EDT, WTI was trading down 6.21% at $26.58, with Brent crude trading down 3.96% at $32.76. Both benchmarks are still up significantly week on week on the news that Russia and Saudi Arabia might finally be coming to their senses and reign in their oil production that far exceeds demand.

        OPEC+ is now scheduled to hold a videoconference on Thursday this week to discuss the markets. Potential production cut figures between 10 million bpd and 15 million bpd have been thrown out as possible by Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, although it is for the most part understood that even those massive figures may not be enough to offset the drop in demand due to Covid-19 that some say is more than 20 million bpd.

        Until late last week, Saudi Arabia was determined to continue over producing, at over 12 million barrels per day at a time when the coronavirus is sapping the demand out of the market. A handful of other producers followed suit in an effort not to lose market share. But as reality set in that the virus was interrupting demand more than the producers thought possible, cooler heads appear to be prevailing.

        By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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